Walton the hero as he brings glory to Jamaica
Jamaica Scorpions beat Trinidad and Tobago Red Force by three wickets in the final of the CG Super50 to take the prestigious title at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium on Saturday night.
Led by a superb half century from Chadwick Walton, the Jamaicans chased down a target of 218 — to win with 18 balls to spare. Walton, the experienced opener made 80 and shared a vital partnership with Andre McCarthy who made 55. They added 26 for the second wicket.
Jamaica nearly squandered a golden opportunity but held their nerve in the end to and clinched their first Super50 Cup title in 11 years. Six wickets tumbled for 60 runs and when Peat Salmon (11) had his stumps shattered by left-arm spinner Khary Pierre (2-42) at the start of the 47th over, the game was wide open with Scorpions tottering on 210-7.
However, Jeavor Royal (one not out) pinched a single to short third man to turn the strike over to big-hitting all-rounder Odean Smith, who smashed the fifth delivery over long off for six to level the scores. Smith (13 not out) then skied the final delivery into vacant cover to end Scorpions long-running title drought and deny Red Force a second consecutive championship.
Sent in, Red Force mustered 217 also off 47 overs, their batting failing to turn up after their impressive effort in last Wednesday’s semi-final when they surpassed 300 in a high-scoring thriller against Barbados Pride.
Left-hander Yannic Cariah, batting at Number 6, top-scored with 43 from 45 balls with two fours and two sixes. He combined in a crucial 56-run, sixth wicket stand with Akeal Hosein who lashed four fours in scoring 37 from 52 balls.Kjorn Ottley had earlier scored 33 from 51 balls with a boundary and two sixes.
With Scorpions requiring just over four runs per-over, in-form opener Brandon King perished cheaply for 12 in the sixth over when he gloved a leg-side catch behind, pulling at a short ball from speedster Shannon Gabriel with 24 on the board.
The setback was temporary as Walton and McCarthy batted superbly in a 126-run second wicket partnership to put Scorpions in command. Walton faced 94 balls and punched eight fours and two sixes while McCarthy, 35, counted three fours and a six in an 88-ball knock.
The breakthrough came at the end of the 32nd over when Walton sliced leg-spinner Cariah to point and McCarthy followed soon afterwards when he hoisted left-arm spinner Hosein into long on’s lap in the 35th over.
The plot thickened even further when Alwyn Williams (3) holed out to deep mid-wicket in the 39th and seamer Terrance Hinds claimed Powell lbw for 25 and yorked Dennis Bulli (2) in successive overs but Smith eased the tension to take Scorpions over the line.